trouble with flannel top and flannel backing


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Hi Girls

I just finished a top that almost made me wish I'd never gotten into quilting for others.

The top was flannel with tons of thick seams, that weren't pressed in the right directions The quilt pattern was Mosiac tiles...for those of you that know that pattern. The backing was also flannel, the batting Hobbs W&N.

I noticed the wavy outside borders before I even put it on the machine but thought I could work with them. Turned out they bowed out quite far and had to be trimmed off after I took the quilt off.

I ws also unsure of which thread to use on this top . I thought I should use King Tut but used Bottom line both on the top and in the bobbin because I'm most comfortable with that thread and I really didn't want to be fussing with the tension. But I ended up with so many problems with thread breakage....I bet it broke at least 60 times on this lap size top. Which thread should I have used or what thread do most of you use when quilting a double layer of flannel like this?

I did finish it and it looks good but next time I'll have the customer remove the warped borders and press the seam allowances in the right directions.

Rita

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I guess we all have days like yours so we can sympathise! It must be the workmanship for some reason that caused you problems. I have worked with flannel and find it nice to work with...so I hope you don't turn them away in the future. I do find that I have to keep an eye on the bobbin area for extra lint.

Hope tomorrow is a better day!!

Sandra

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Rita,

There isn't anything like a difficult quilt when your up against a deadline. The only thing that I might have used instead of the Bottom Line is maybe Poly Quilter...its a bit thicker and has a poly core so it doesn't break as easy as Bottom Line. Going across those thick seams it might have been a bit easier for you.

Happy Holidays to you.

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Rita,

I have just been t hrough a similar problem with a Flannel quilt top. I used Rainbows thread and went REAL SLOW. I too had problems with thick seams and intersections but worked around them. The border was not straight and I couldn't do much with it. I quilted the border with free motion leaves and I am did smaller free motion leaves in the blocks. And she paid for it to. She knew she was because of the time crunch. I chose the block pattern so I didn't have to cross over too many thick seams. My customer swears she won't do this again and I swear I won't quilt flannel again! :mad:

And Sandra is right, you do have to keep an eye on the bobbin area for extra lint!!!

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Hi Rita!

That quilt sounds very frustrating--but the good news is that you have finished it! I've done several flannel top, flannel back quilts this year with a variety of battings, Dream Poly, Hobbs 80/20, etc. and always used Signature cottons on the top and in the bobbin. I never had thread breakage problems, but I sometimes had to "muscle through" areas of fullness.

Jill Kerekes

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Sandra, it certainly hasn't turned me off from doing flannel quilts but I know what to look for next time. :) I should have re-ironed the top before I started quilting it. And I should have had the owner remove the outer borders because I could see they were rippling before I loaded it. Wanting to be nice, I told her that I'm sure I could work around it. I'll never do that again.

Bonnie, I didn't order any of the Poly Quilter thread but it's now added to my next order. I do find the Bottom Line way too thin and I shouldn't have used it on this top. Hopefully it doesn't fall apart on the customer.

Jill and Beth, thanks for the words of encouragement! I loved the feel of the flannel and did the whole top freehand...which was so much fun dispite all the thread breakage. Now it's time to load one of my tops and do it freehand as well. I want to learn the McTavishing for background filler so nows the time while I'm feeling brave. And my top won't be flannel either.

Rita

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Hi Rita,

I recently used King Tut on top and Bottom Line on bottom with a flannel quilt that worked well. Seems like with thicker quilts, the thread tension needs to be loosened WAY LOOSE. I recently did an art quilt with metallic thread that had three layers of batting and had the tension screw one circle looser than flat (which worked okay). The unevenly pressed seams sounded like a real nightmare -- I'm not sure that most quilters realize how much nicer their quilts would turn out if they took the time to press the seams correctly. I have trouble with needle breakage at those points too, so if I can I avoid those intersections. For some reason, I have less trouble with thread and needle breakage when I do pantos than custom. I am trying to teach myself to be more careful about checking out a quilt for uneven borders, etc., before giving a price quote because it takes loads more time. Good luck!

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Rita - you did good - at least you finished it! I agree with Bonnie though -

I tend to like my Poly cones from A & E, it is a nice thick heavy - and very

strong thread. You can have a very tight tension on top and it will not

break. To the point of my needle "bends" over a bit when i am pulling the

top thread through it.....

I just finished my last "nasty" I had - a patchwork JEANS quilt - yucky!! Oh

the seams on that baby! My hopping foot was NOT hopping over some of

them - it was more like a "going around" foot! And yes, some badly pressed

seams that wanted to just suck my foot right in there and keep it!! I am

putting the binding on today and she can have it - one of those "why did I

say I would do this??!!??"

But I must say too, it looks much better than when she brought it in.

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